Plantar Fasciitis

First aid kit     Photo: Mark Wiens / Masterfile

What It Is: Irritation of the plantar ­fascia, the connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot.
Old Medicine: Wear orthotics; get cortisone injections; in acute cases, surgery.
New Thinking: “The root cause is weak feet and a lack of range of motion in the plantar fascia and ankle,” Cucuzzella explains. “Ice, tape, and orthotics can alleviate the pain, but you have to strengthen the foot to fix this long-term.”
Latest Cure: Walk barefoot to help rebuild foot musculature. Heel-drop exercises (standing on a step on the ball of your foot and dropping your heel) and conditioning your big toe by repeatedly pressing it into the ground and releasing it will also help.

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